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Partnership delivers innovative colourful playground on former chocolate factory site

Partnership delivers innovative colourful playground on former chocolate factory site
January 15, 2020
Design / Play /

Arcadia Landscape Architecture has collaborated with Tilt Industrial Design to deliver the new Liquorice Allsorts Playground on the site of the former Darrell Lea Chocolate Factory in Sydney.

Research shows that more variables (including colour) within a play environment encourage 'creative flexibility'.

The modular, brightly coloured cubes emulate liquorice allsorts and host a number of individual play elements. There are small cubes to climb, slides to slip, a fire pole to slide down, ‘port holes’ to view and nets to challenge. Meanwhile a ‘Liquorice Line’ has swinging and climbing elements suspended to encourage a different type of play. The bespoke play structure is also a bold entry statement to the multiresidential development beyond.

Tilt was initially engaged by developers JQZ, in conjunction with Arcadia Landscape Architecture, to undertake a Design Study exploring 3Ds and renders to deliver on Arcadia’s concept. During the design stage, Tilt considered:

• The restricted and unusual shape of the site

• Design and positioning of the equipment

• The interface between each play element

• Standards and performance requirements

• High play value and opportunity for interaction between children and their parents

Tilt was then engaged to provide detailed designs, production and installation management of the site specific playground.

Arcadia Landscape Architecture Principal Chris Tidswell notes that with an increase in population growth and apartment living, creating places for children to play has never been so important.

Tidswell advises “creating experience and place is paramount in today’s communities. When the history of a site is re-created in public play places, it can provoke ideas and a sense of learning.”

The final result reflects the original design concept and provides a clear link to the historical nature of the site.

Explaining the choice for such a colourful design in this suburban context, Tidswell says it “was based on the site being originally home to the Darrell Lea chocolate factory. Darrell Lea Liquorice Allsorts are an Aussie Liquorice Legend!

“The colourful design creates a playspace that provokes excitement and energy when playing.”

The playground encourages different types of play as it is a fun playspace designed for children, adults and young people.

Tidwell highlights the benefits of the playspace for children, noting “the playspace is inclusive, easy to access, easy to move around and it provides a range of play options and challenges. This playspace is more than just equipment. It is the representation of the history of the site, which is enjoyed as part of the play experience.

Tim Phillips, Managing Director, Tilt added “inspiration for play space innovation can come from many sources, including collaboration with the local community, the natural environment, physical characteristics of the site itself or even the choice of materiality to be applied.

“We look to surprise and delight children and adults and create a flow that leads them to explore the play space safely and with ease.

“Our recent custom-designed Liquorice Allsorts Playground project for JQZ in conjunction with Arcadia paid homage to the old Darrell Lea Chocolate Factory that once occupied the site on Rocky Point Road. The result is an artistic and unique space with interconnected, modular ‘Liquorice Allsorts’ that creates an exciting path of play.

Phillips also commented on play safety issues stating “there is a complex Australian Standard that must be followed, and certification must be obtained post-installation. Safety and maintenance of equipment is a priority and combining multiple play elements from a variety of suppliers to achieve a custom design can result in ongoing issues with compliance and warranty. It’s best to work with one supplier that can manage the entire process.”

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